Facebook Launches New Advertising Platform

Facebook, Atlas

A few weeks ago, Facebook rolled out a new (and very interesting) advertising platform from Microsoft, called Atlas. The social platform has been the #2 digital advertiser in the world, thanks to the large amount of information that it has on its 1.3 billion users, which it sells to individually targeted ads. Today, Atlas will be taking similarly targeted ads across the internet, which will more seamlessly connect online and offline.

Atlas will effectively give marketers more information on its users to point them to varying websites, apps and more. For instance, if RedBull wanted to target men between the ages of 18-24, it could use Atlas to identify such users and specifically show them ads for the energy drink across a multitude of sites, apps, etc.

If this multi-platform digital marketing works, it will create an additional method of marketing to users. One that will directly compete with the likes of Google, Apple, Yahoo, etc.

Having said that, this highly detailed targeting from Facebook brings up many worries relating to online privacy. Facebook specifically states that it never discloses info on its users, but the shear amount of details that the platform has on its users (both stated and voluntarily disclosed info) is highly coveted by all marketers.

Even scarier? When a user logs into Facebook on their phone, the company is able to see what other apps he or she is using and would then be able to show possible ads within those apps. “Nobody else besides Facebook has the depth of data about individuals,” said Debra Aho Williamson, a principal analyst at the research firm eMarketer. “That’s where the power of this ad platform is going to come from.”

Atlas will be interesting to watch develop, especially in the upcoming months as marketers determine how it could best benefit their clients. For now, it’s invite only and has been rolled out to a few of their key partners like Omnicom Media Group, SalesForce and SHIFT. Because of Facebook ‘playing favorites’, some marketers fear that they’ll be left out of the process and ultimate success of the new ad platform.

— Samantha

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Facebook to Launch Video Ads

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Facebook users will have a whole new reason to complain any day now as the social media giant plans to roll out video ads on your Newsfeed. As if your Newsfeed isn’t already cluttered enough with various ads and promotions, Facebook’s new video ads will be 15-second commercials that automatically play as soon as the site is loaded. Thankfully the ads will be muted as a default, but we are not so confident this convenient feature will last for long.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook is planning to charge between $1 million and $2.5 million for each 15-second ad, per day! Prices like that put these Facebook ads on the same level as the most notoriously expensive advertisements in the world, Super Bowl commercials. With the average 30-second commercial costing $4 million during the 2013 Super Bowl, Facebook’s pricing seems to be right on track. Is your Newsfeed as valuable to marketers as the Super Bowl? According to Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandburg, with Facebook getting 3 times the viewership of the Super Bowl, EVERY DAY, it most certainly is. Now are you and your friends going to gather around your Newsfeed in anticipation for clever ads like on Super Bowl Sunday? We would think not. However, with the sheer numbers advantage alone, Facebook has a lot to offer its future advertising clients. 

Like any change on Facebook, there is sure to be complaints from its users. We think these video ads will create a larger backlash than normal, primarily depending on how annoying and intrusive Facebook allows these ads to be. However, like all the other changes Facebook has gone through over the years, give it a little bit of time, and most users will eventually accept it as normal.

Is this the right move for Facebook? With growing discontent among its users, we think it is dangerous for Facebook to continually hurt the user experience it has prided itself on since day one. However, on the other hand, we can see how saying no to the profit Facebook will see off these ads would be hard for any capitalistic company. Only time will tell if the monetary gains outweigh the potential loss in users due to this advertising decision.

-Mike & Samantha